I HONESTLY cannot understand Alex Neil basing the possibility of a consultative vote on a further mandate if SNP wins a majority in 2021 (“Scots back legal battle with Boris for referendum” in the Sunday National). They already have numerous mandates. How many more do they need? I can’t remember the dates as there have been so many votes lately whether for Westminster, for Holyrood or for referendums.

For the past six years we seem to have done nothing more than traipse back and forward to the polling stations.

But at the last three Westminster elections the SNP have been the largest Scottish party, and last year again they returned a whopping 80% of the Scottish seats. They did this on a definite agenda of support for a further referendum, stopping Brexit and remaining in the EU. They have been the third-largest Westminster party for the last three elections. Considering they only put candidates up for election in 59 seats, that’s quite some feat. I believe they also now have a larger membership than the Tory party!

READ MORE: Poll reveals majority of Scots back indyref2 legal battle with UK

Beyond that, they had a majority of seats at Holyrood in the election before last – something that was never supposed to be able to happen. The voting system was set up to prevent that! And, although they lost their outright majority at the last Holyrood election, a majority of the seats there are still held by independence-supporting parties. All in all, the Scottish people have returned them to power time after time. Since it is widely known and accepted that they are the party of independence for Scotland then this must surely be six different mandates to get on with it.

Joanna Cherry is correct when she states that even if a consultative referendum is declared illegal, we would be no worse off than we are now. However, we see polls by Survation and Panelbase etc and these apparently are not illegal. Therefore, the SNP should be able to carry out such a poll completely legally. Now, if that just happens to involve the entire electorate of Scotland well, “Dearie me, what a pity!” But it could not be declared illegal if those others are considered quite legal; and it might just give them the ammunition they need to threaten UDI if Boris is not prepared to negotiate (he won’t be!).

You have to remember it was the Tories who were in power at the time of the Treaty. They said then: “We have catched Scotland and we will not let her go.” And over the last 300 years it has always been the Tories who have harmed Scotland or who tried to prevent us having devolution. So, Boris Johnson won’t budge from his present stance and if he finds a means of ending devolution too, believe me, he will try it! We must stop playing by his rules and start putting the pressure on him.

Charlie Kerr

THERE can be no doubt that The National is a tremendous asset to the independence movement. However, the letters pages have become like a version of Groundhog Day, with a cadre of contributors routinely regaling us tediously repetitive attacks on the SNP strategy, without appearing to fully understand it.

We’ve even reached the point where one contributor is urging independence supporters to commit political hari-kari by switching our votes wholesale to the Greens. The Greens are to be commended for their support of independence, but they have limited support, a very small staff, an extremely constrained campaigning infrastructure and virtually no money. Time to get real.

Douglas Turner